Keane: Town Turned Down Bid From Wigan
Friday, 6th Aug 2010 09:21
Boss Roy Keane has revealed that the Blues turned down a £3.5 million offer for Jon Walters from Wigan in 2008. The striker is currently being targeted by Stoke City, who were also interested in the Town skipper at around the same time but never got as far as making a bid.
Keane says that if Walters was valued in that range then he’s worth at least the same now: “Two years ago this club had an offer for £3.5 million from Wigan and they turned it down. If anyone all of a sudden thinks Jon’s value has gone down to £2 million or £2.5 million, when I think he’s become a much better player, they are living in cuckoo land.”
The Blues boss, who dismissed reports that Walters had asked for a transfer as “speculation”, says that every player at every club has his price: “If Manchester United have to sell Cristiano Ronaldo, I don’t think we’re in a position that we can turn down an offer for a player.
“I’ve had a number of conversations with Jon about different aspects of the club and the players and he knows that if an offer comes in and the club sees it as acceptable, then it’s very hard to stand in the boy’s way. I understand that, I live in the real world.
“But at this moment in time Jon’s an Ipswich player, he’s under contract and he’s on a decent wage, let me tell you.”
Whether the deal ultimately goes through Keane says is down to Stoke and the other interested sides: “That’s up to the clubs that are after him. The clubs who are speaking to his agent and the clubs that are speaking to the player, because if you think this tapping up business doesn’t happen, it does.
“If you’re interested in players you’ve got to pay the money, it’s like everything else. If you want good players, you’ve got to pay the money.”
Keane says Walters is amongst the top players in the division: “I think after Charlie Adam last year Jon was probably the best player in the Championship. He was massive for us, an important captain for us, but if he’s to leave this club or Gareth McAuley or Connor Wickham or Roy Keane were to leave this club, which has been around for a helluva long time, the club will survive, trust me.”
However, the Town manager says it won’t be easy bringing in someone of similar quality, whatever fee is achieved for the ex-Chester man: “Replacing Jon Walters will be very, very difficult. Whatever valuation the owner might have on Jon and that’s up to him to decide.
“I’m manager of a football club, I actually enjoy that side of it, and I don’t get too involved in that, I maybe got too much involved in that at Sunderland.”
Keane says he has a number of potential targets in his thoughts: “There are two or three players I’ve got in mind in terms of attacking positions that we need. The deals we’re looking at would be permanent deals because we need some permanent players who we know will be at the club for two or three years to help bring it forward.”
Walters is expected to be in the Town side at Boro but the deal could go through next week with the Premier League season starting a week tomorrow.
Photo: Action Images
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